140-142/365 Abandoned High School

On a Sunday two years ago I had to get away. I was feeling trapped and isolated in my falling-apart bungalow in Irvington so I took off east on SR40 out into the flat countryside of Indiana where the cornfields and soy beans had yet to be planted for the year. I had never traveled SR40 since the freeway parallels the road and I usually drive the freeway, but on that day I didn’t want the freeway. I wanted country.

It was a bizarre trip. The further away from Indianapolis I got, the more surreal the landscape became. Every small mom-and-pop store loomed large in various stages of deterioration even as their “open” signs invited people in. I wanted to get away from the blight around me. That was the whole point! I was tired of living in a squalid area and wanted to see something refreshing and new.

Instead, I saw this imposing abandoned high school. It sat on high ground and dared me to stop! The previous day I had wandered all over the crumbling grounds of the insane asylum so I was prepped for another exploration of a different abandoned building. I did an illegal U-turn and pulled up the drive to the building.







The above three photos are the ones I chose to represent days 140, 141, and 142, but I couldn’t let the rest of the building go unnoticed.

Just a bit more information about this building. It is not isolated. All around it is a subdivision of nice homes. But no one paid any attention to the woman in the bright blue car parked against the red brick walls. No one glanced at me as I wandered around the grounds, pulling vines and trees out of my way so I could get closer to a window or door. A dog barked nearby and the owner shushed it, but he didn’t look up at me even though I watched him to make sure the dog was contained. A car drove past the left side of the building to get to a driveway, but I didn’t see the driver look up at the building, nor at me. It was as if this big, sprawling building was invisible, and because I was there for the building, I became invisible. It was truly bizarre.

Anyway, here are more photos:

Abandoned High School Front

Abandoned High School Close Up

Two Pots in Window

Two Pots in Window

Broken Window Panes

Broken Window Panes

Recess Bell

Recess Bell

Greenfield Christian Academy

Greenfield Christian Academy

Back View of Building

Lots of trees and things to scrounge through in the back.

No Trespassing

No Trespassing, Private Property

Filth and Grime

Of all the photos I took, I detest this one the most. It repulses me. But because I hate it so much, I am including it. Not all interesting things have to be positive.

It has been two years since I took these photos. For all I know, the building has been torn down or repurposed. I tried to find out more info on it by doing a Google search, but the keywords I used netted nothing. If I find out more about this building, I’ll update.


About Dezra Despain

Life is full of stories waiting to be revealed.

Posted on March 23, 2012, in 365 Days Journey Through the Past and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 13 Comments.

  1. It sure would be interesting to find what, if anything, has happened in the intervening years. Seeing these photos makes you wonder how many students have passed through there and where they all are now.

    • My curiosity is peaked enough to make me want to drive out that way today to see if the structure still exists. I am also curious as to why they would abandon such a magnificent structure. I can only think that the building didn’t measure up to code or maybe the location was problematic. The new high school is closer to town.

  2. wow, great shots. I love exploring abandoned places – there aren’t too many around here though!! Love the shot for #141 – great textures on the overgrown door.

    • Thanks, Louise. I live in a decent-sized metropolis so we have areas of blight and decay all around. Indianapolis has cleaned up quite a few areas, but it can’t get to every place. My favorite photo is #141 for the very same reason you expressed; textures on an overgrown door. I love old doors. They speak volumes.

      • I agree – they’re so intriguing. What’s inside? What is behind them? Who has been through them? Where do they go? Great shots.

  3. I find places like this so interesting – bittersweet. So sad to see things coming to ruin, and so much thinking about the lives being lived there. But then now gone. Just gets me thinking.

    I agree with your phrase, “Not all interesting things have to be positive.” Some of the most interesting art (to me) isn’t instinctively positive.

    Sorry that blight is so strong around you. I see it a lot here too. Old Adobe (mud) buildings just coming to ruin. I just want to sweep them all up and take care of them.

    Have a great weekend, Dezra!

    • I moved away from the area where everywhere I looked was in some semblance of falling apart–that would be Irvington, and only where I lived in Irvington. There are some beautiful homes in that area, just not where I lived. It’s like you can live on one street where everything is falling apart and one block away are beautifully preserved historic homes. I lived on the wrong side of the tracks, so to speak. Now I live in a very nice neighborhood and because of that I have few stories to tell. But I’m ok with that since I feel safe.

      This abandoned high school really caught my attention since it sits predominantly on a knoll jutted up against a highway. I don’t know why they haven’t demolished it yet! Anyway, it was intriguing. Thanks for your comments, Katie.

  4. Great stuff here! Your photos 141 and 142 are my personal favorites. What a find!

    • Thanks! I have issues with 142 (just like I have issues with the last photo). I hate dirt and grime with a passion! My skin starts crawling and I start sneezing even before I disturb anything. But because those were the only photos I have of the inside of the building, I decided to use them because they tell more of the story. I was able to take the photos through a window. I’d be interested to see if I could get inside. Want to come explore with me? 🙂

  5. ace, dezra. you have a real talent for teasing a story out of fragments of the landscape. the detail of the man shushing the dog was a great observation, it brought me right into the place. you have such a sensitive eye and ear, the stories that accompany your pictures add such an emotionally charged dimension to them. love it!

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